Heart Failure & Missing Witness: Alla Aleksandrovskaya Is Still Behind Bars

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard



The SBU is looking for a witness for the prosecution while the defence is gathering evidence of the innocence of Alla Aleksandrovskaya. This was said by her lawyer Aleksandr Posternak to “Nahnews”. On 27th September, the Kievsky district court of Kharkov extended Alla Aleksandrovskaya’s detention until 23rd October, while there was every reason for Kharkov’s political prisoner to be released after a three-month detention.

Incident of the ‘low’ court

Earlier, the Court of Appeal of the Kharkov region considered sufficient the period of detention until 1st October. And it seems that nothing impeached Kievsky district court to soften the measure of restraint of Aleksandrovskaya. However, the decision of the high court was ignored.

Lawyer Aleksandr Posternak, representing the interests of Aleksandrovskaya in court, commented on the incident and proceedings to the correspondent of “Nahnews”.

“The court disregarded the decision of the appeal, and extended the measure. We consider the decision of Kievsky district court to be illegal, therefore, which is why we filed an appeal. The court motivated its decision only by the fact that it saw an abstract base. At this time, like in previous hearings, it did not evaluate the validity of the suspicion under article 110 of the criminal code of Ukraine, did not evaluate the validity of the risks, did not evaluate the diseases of Aleksandrovskaya, and the impossibility of obtaining medical care in jail. And other violations were made,” considers Aleksandr Posternak.

To reach the Ombudsman

The lawyer informed about the actions carried out by the defense.

Another appeal was filed against the extension of the preventive measure. Previously, Posternak sent an appeal to the Commissioner for Human Rights in Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Valeria Lutkovskaya on the fact of the inhuman attitude towards Alla Aleksandrovskaya, about the lack of medical services, and the lack of justification of detention. He asked the Ombudsman to take measures to protect the right to life and health of the prisoner.

Information about the inhuman conditions of detention of Aleksandrovskaya was given to Valeria Lutkovska

Requests were made to institutions of the penitentiary service about the possibility of providing medical assistance to Aleksandrovskaya regarding her diagnosis. It follows from the  received responses that to provide such assistance in the condition of detention is factually impossible.

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Information regarding numerous procedural violations were made public in the media.

Missing witness

Posternak provided clarity regarding the witness, with the testimony of which the prosecution operates.

“He’s being searched for by employees of the SBU. And as of today he has not been found. I can’t divulge the essence of his testimony. He accused Alla Aleksandrovskaya of the alleged crimes in a vague and procedural manner. Lawyers questioned the civilian spouse of this witness, who stated the fact of pressure on him by the SBU. This pressure explains the fact that he was obliged to incriminate Alla Aleksandrovskaya, after which he disappeared,” said the defence.

Heart insufficiency in the conditions of jail

Aleksandr Posternak elaborated on the issue that most concerned the family and friends of the 67-year-old Alla Aleksandrovskaya: about the state of her health. She has serious heart disease. The health of Aleksandrovskaya is dynamically deteriorating. During her arrest she was diagnosed with heart failure, stage 2A. Now the condition of her health has worsened, and now doctors diagnosed stage 2B, which is more severe. It is characterized by total cardiac insufficiency. This diagnosis was confirmed by a forensic medical examination. According to Ukrainian legislation, there is a “List of diseases that constitute the grounds for early release of the convicted from the sentence”. This list includes heart disease, Heart Failure 2B (such as is diagnosed in Aleksandrovskaya’s case).

“A private doctor-cardiologist, who was invited by the defense, states the dynamics of deteriorating health. The doctor made an advisory opinion, according to which the detention of Aleksandrovskaya in the conditions of a prison can lead to complications, including cardiac arrest. In the event of such complications, to provide first aid on this profile, to carry out resuscitation and intensive therapy in the conditions of jail would be impossible. In this case, it can even be fatal. A doctor presented the statistics: if assistance is not provided during the first minutes, in 80% of cases, this leads either to death or to irreversible consequences, fraught with disability,” stressed the lawyer.

In advance

In a situation when not only the investigation, but also the court fulfils a political order for the reprisal of an undesirable public figure, it is difficult to achieve justice and to expect rapid progress. But Posternak is sure that the efforts of the lawyer are not useless, because it is thanks to them, and the public disclosure of violations, it is possible to provide at least basic medical assistance to Alla Aleksandrovskaya.


In the case of Aleksandrovskaya there are clear political orders.

“A systemic legislative approach makes law enforcement officers to understand the futility of the stupid accusation that they put forward. However, this information must be brought up to the very top of law enforcement, which, in our opinion, is the initiator of the illegal detainment of Alla Aleksandrovskaya in prison for some “political” indicators. But it is a long and difficult path. The defense bit by bit collected and systematised all violations. There is a dense work with the ECHR concerning the violations of articles 3 and 5 of the Convention (health and freedom). The defence proactively taking action and collecting evidence will refute the arguments of the prosecution,” concluded Aleksandr Posternak.


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